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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 06:38 GMT
England struggle in Test warm-up
Tour match, Dunedin, day 1 (close)
New Zealand XI 177-4 v England 131

Andrew Strauss made a disappointing return to the England line-up
Andrew Strauss was unable to make much impact with the bat
England's preparations for next week's first Test were hit by a woeful batting collapse on day one of a three-day tour fixture with a New Zealand select XI.

Having been asked to bat on a surface favouring the seamers, skipper Michael Vaughan fell second ball in the second over and his team were all out for 131.

Andrew Strauss, seeking a Test recall, made five and only Kevin Pietersen (50) recorded a significant contribution.

England's four seamers each took a wicket as the hosts closed on 177-4.

Given the option, Vaughan would no doubt have been happy to monitor his bowlers rather than don his pads on a helpful wicket.

But he edged behind, the first of four wickets for Iain O'Brien, who is hoping to secure a Test place having played in the one-day series.

I thought in general we played a bit loose and we paid the penalty for it

Peter Moores,
England coach

Alastair Cook hit four boundaries in his 19 before he was squared up and caught in the covers off a leading edge.

Strauss, who has made only nine runs from his two tour innings to date, hit one boundary, but in attempting to pull another he top-edged to slip.

Having edged through the slips on nought, Pietersen soon began to find his touch, confidently stepping down the wicket to unsettle the bowlers.

But having struck nine boundaries in a 69-ball half-century, he was the sixth England wicket to fall, departing in the penultimate over before lunch.

Three balls after reaching fifty he slashed at a widish one and was caught behind.

Paul Collingwood, who reached fifty from 24 balls in the recent one-day series, took 22 balls to get off the mark and soon edged to the wicket-keeper.

Kevin Pietersen
After an early stroke of fortune Pietersen hit nine boundaries

New Zealand XI skipper Jamie How, who made a century against England in the one-day series, struck 10 fours in his 65 during an opening stand of 98 and his team closed 46 ahead.

England coach Peter Moores admitted that his players had to improve rapidly before the first of the three-match Test series beginning in Hamilton.

"There is not much time now, they've got one more innings and they've got to make the most of any time they get out there," he said.

"It's all about getting into that Test match tempo and into that way of playing.

"It was quite hard work and it was seaming around early on.

"The groundsman thought there would be a bit in it and they bowled pretty well and I thought in general we played a bit loose and we paid the penalty for it."

Moores conceded that several selection issues had to be resolved ahead of the Tests.

"There's obviously been a debate about the (Owais) Shah/Strauss batting position and bowling-wise we have quite an interesting decision."

606: DEBATE

Steve Harmison bowled first change in Dunedin and sent down a wide and a no-ball in taking 1-59 from 12 overs.

He was cut for six by How but claimed the wicket of Ross Taylor who was sharply caught by Strauss at first slip.

"Steve came out late because of the birth of his child so we have to make sure he has enough bowling in him and that he's bowling well enough for the first Test," Moores warned.

"We've got to watch these guys bowl and make sure we put out the right attack that can bowl a side out twice and we need to identify that over the next six or seven days."

There was some good news for the tourists, with Ryan Sidebottom able to bowl in the pre-match warm-up.

The left-arm seamer, who was ruled out of this tour match with hamstring trouble, will be tested again when England arrive in Hamilton next week.



SEE ALSO
England in New Zealand 2008
03 Jul 07 |  Cricket


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